Meet Andrew Holness – Jamaica’s New Prime Minister
1972: Andrew Michael Holness is born to working class parents on July 22 in Spanish Town. His father, who was a farmer and strong supporter of former Prime Minister the Most Hon. Michael Manley, wanted to name him ‘Michael’ however, his mother insisted that he should have his own identity.
1995: Holness accepts an invitation from the then Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, to assume duties as personal assistant in his office. He was assigned the responsibility of developing poverty reduction and social investment policies for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
1997: At the age of 25, Holness is elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of West Central St. Andrew.
2005: Holness is asked by the new leader of the JLP, Bruce Golding, to take on the topical issue of education and distinguishes himself as an outstanding Opposition Spokesperson on Education.
2007: Andrew Holness is appointed Minister of Education when the JLP wrestles leadership from the Peoples National Party (PNP). He serves in this position until October 2011.
2008: Holness is assigned the position of Minister with responsibility for Electoral Matters and the Leader of Government Business in the House of Parliament.
2011: At age 39, Holness becomes the Jamaica’s youngest Prime Minister and the first born after Independence, following the resignation of Bruce Golding as leader of the JLP. Two months later, he leads the party to a crushing defeat at the polls to the PNP.
2016: Holness is sworn in for the second time as Prime Minister of Jamaica when the Jamaica Labour Party wins the Parliamentary Elections with a slim one-seat majority.
- As Minister of Education, Holness consistently topped national polls as the best performing and the most popular minister of government, insisting on a bi-partisan approach to the Education Transformation and Modernization process.
- Under his watch, Jamaica has seen the introduction of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), designed as a post secondary technical and vocational training programme for otherwise unattached youth.
- He also worked to establish several institutions such as the Jamaica Teaching Council, the National Education Trust, the National College for Education Leadership, the Centres of Excellence Programme and the Alternative Secondary Transition Education Programme (ASTEP) designed to support students falling behind in general education.
- Andrew Holness is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Master of Science in Development Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies. He is married to Juliet, a chartered accountant and businesswoman, who is currently the Member of Parliament in the constituency of East Rural St. Andrew.